6 tips for writing a good cover letter

Many job applicants don’t give their cover letters the time and attention they deserve, but the truth is that they’re just as important as your resume.

Cover letters can showcase your writing skills and give a hiring managers or recruiters a clearer picture of your unique personality.

With that in mind, we have a list of six tips for writing a good cover letter that will help you shine.

1. Spelling and grammar are your number one priority.

Just as with resumes, having any spelling or grammar errors in a cover letter is unacceptable — they indicate to readers that you don’t pay pay attention to details. Read your cover letter out loud, double check for errors and, when in doubt, check out a style guide.

2. Avoid repeating your résumé.

The reader will have a chance to see everything you have listed on your resume; they don’t need to see two pages of exactly the same material. Instead, focus on explaining the work you’ve done and your accomplishments that don’t fit onto the single page of your résumé.

3. Highlight your skills.

While it’s important to have a good educational background, you still want to let your skills shine in the forefront. If you don’t have much work experience, focus on how you applied valuable skills to your coursework, externship or volunteer opportunities. The point is to show how you’ve used your skills in relevant settings.

4. Show them what you can bring to the company.

Your resume is all about you — your education, your experience and your references. But remember, the ultimate goal of the resume and your cover letter is to show your potential employer how you can help them. Keep this in mind as you write your cover letter. What can you have to offer this company that other candidates don’t?

5. Tailor it specifically to the job you’re seeking.

Do some research and write about how your current skills and past experiences have prepared you for this role. If you can clearly show how you will be an asset to the company in this position, you’ll have a better shot you at getting noticed.

6. Formality is not always your friend.

A resume is formal in its presentation. A cover letter is meant to showcase who you are as a person, and using overly formal language can make you seem less approachable. So don’t worry so much about sounding professional. Let your personality shine through and be genuine.

With these six tips, you should have a good starting point for crafting a compelling cover letter. Remember: Let your skills shine, show employers what you can do for them and ditch the formality to show off your personality.

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